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Reduce Puffy Eyes

Puffy swollen eyes plague many individuals around the world for many different reasons. Many times puffy eyes can be reduced or eliminated by simple lifestyle changes. Other times it is more difficult to treat when other factors are taken into account such as climate, age and genetics. Below are some helpful tips and tricks for puffy eyes as well as some general knowledge for understanding why it happens.

Physical and Environmental Conditions

Living in hot conditions can effect the bodies ability to remove excess fluids from tissue under the eyes. This can be referred to as vasodilation, which is the widening of blood vessels from increased blood flow. In contrast, cold can cause a constriction of the blood vessels resulting in vasoconstriction. This is why applying cold to the inflamed area causes a reduction of swelling. Some other causes of puffy eyes are stress, allergies, hormone changes and crying.


We all have those moments in life when it is just time to cry. The only problem is sometimes we don’t want people to know. That is why it is important to know a few tricks and tips to get rid of puffy, swollen, post tear filled eyes. After a crying bout dab the eyes with a tissue or soft cloth making sure not to rub, as the skin under the eyes is extremely sensitive and can swell easily. Then take a couple slices of cucumber, which have been, hopefully, previously frozen in a plastic bag. Then lie down with the head propped up (this will cause the blood flow to travel downwards) and place the cucumber slices on the eyes for about ten minutes. If frozen cucumber slices are not available chilled ones will do.

Cold Treatments

If no cucumbers are available try a cold glass of ice water and a couple of spoons. Place the spoons in the water and wait until they are nice and cold. Lie down and cup the spoons over the eyes. If ice or a gel pack must be used instead, wrap the ice in a towel and touch it around the eye for short periods of time. The eye is extremely delicate and it is not recommended to remain cold for extended periods. Make sure to also drink plenty of cold water to calm the nerves and replace lost fluid. Lastly, try to remain calm and composed, as the eyes will swell up again with future oncoming tears.

Potato Treatments

Another trick to reduce puffy eyes is to use potato slices or make a potato compress. The potato slices work much like the cucumber slices over the eyes. Simply cut a couple of thick slices and place them over the eyes for 10 minutes or so. A potato compress works much the same way but is a little more effective. Simply dice up some potato into medium sized chunks; press them into a cheesecloth or gauze and place it over the eyes just like potato slices. This should be more effective because the healing elements of the potato can work themselves around the eye more effectively. After each potato eye treatment it may leave a residue or film around the eye and will most likely need to be washed off. Some say that the potato treatment does not actually reduce puffiness but instead causes the body and eyes to wake up as if a cold shower was taken or a cup of coffee was just drunk.

Teabag Treatment

Just like cucumbers and potatoes, teabags can be used to reduce eye puffiness. Simply moisten two teabags making sure to squeeze out excessive liquid. Then place them in the refrigerator until chilled. Place them over the eyes for about 10 minutes and remove.

Product Treatments

There are also many professional grade eye creams on the market today. Many are recommended to use morning and night. They are completely safe around the eyes and many times use natural ingredients such as cucumber, apricot and seawater. Here are some recommendations.
Phytomer Puffiness Reducing Gel
Bliss Baggage Handler

Cold Water

One good habit for puffy eyes is to rinse the face with cold water after waking up in the morning, making sure to pat the face dry instead of rubbing. The cold water will reduce inflammation by removing fluid from under the eyes and around the face. It will also give a nice refreshing wake up!


Sleep is essential for healthy looking eyes. Swelling under the eyes can occur if the quality or amount of sleep are lacking. For light sleepers try using a fan to create white noise. This will allow for a longer deeper sleep without being woken by small noises. While sleeping make sure to elevate the head to direct blood flow downwards instead of towards the top of the head by which the eyes could retain more fluid. It is however a bad idea to over elevate as this will cause uncomfortable sleep which is even worse for puffy eyes. Simply make sure that a good quality pillow is used and the neck and head stay relatively straight. In the end each individual sleeps most comfortable in different positions and they know what is best for them in order to get a quality nights sleep.

In order to sleep a good 8 to 9 hours resist consuming caffeinated beverages or alcohol as these can confuse the bodies natural sleep rhythms. Even though alcohol may cause drowsiness, the quality of sleep is usually poor. Also try to take short naps in the middle of the day. These only need to be roughly 20 minutes but can drastically boost energy and make the eyes and face look more rejuvenated. It’s also a good idea to get in a routine. This means go to bed and wake up the same time every day. This will make the bodies circadian rhythms healthy letting the body sleep more deeply for longer periods of time. Quality of sleep will almost always be represented in the eyes so make sure to get enough of it.


Exercise creates good blood flow throughout the body and helps circulate fluids that are hanging out under the eyes. It will also allow for better sleep, which translates into better eyes.


Advil or IB Profane can be used to reduce swelling though out the entire body. All though this can be used to reduce puffiness under the eyes it is not a good habit to get into and should only be used on special occasion.

Eating habits

We have been told from a young age that we are what we eat. This saying still rings true when taking care of puffy eyes. A good habit to get into is reducing salt intake. Salt absorbs fluid within the body and the more we have in us the more swollen we can appear. In contrast it is good to consume other foods that reduce swelling. Some of these foods are bananas, raisins, cabbage and cranberry juice. Stay away from things like alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. These all will affect sleep habits and general health. Another good habit is to eat no later then 3 hours before bed so the food has an opportunity to digest and allow for better sleep. However it is not a good idea to go to bed hungry because this can cause uncomfortable sleep. If food is required before bed, make sure it is nothing more than a lite snack about 1 hour before.

Swollen puffy eyes can be caused by many factors such as sleeping, eating, and exercise habits. Someone with regular puffy eyes must take all of these factors into play. Remember that occasionally there is only so much that can be done, as there are other factors such as climate, age and genetics. Whatever the causes are of individual puffy eyes it seems to be reduced or eradicated by healthy lifestyle changes.